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Los Angeles Rams under pressure of must-win two-game stretch

Opportunity, yes. But requirement also? Absolutely.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay during a preseason game against the Houston Texans, Aug. 29, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay during a preseason game against the Houston Texans, Aug. 29, 2019.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have been in a funk the last three weeks falling from their 3-0 mark to start the year to a 3-3 record giving Head Coach Sean McVay his first non-winning record since becoming HC. Perhaps the biggest problem in these last three weeks has been the inconsistency of varying week-to-week performances on both sides of the ball.

Now though, the Rams have a two-game road swing that offers them the opportunity to get the offense on solid footing and get on the better side of .500 heading into the Week 9 bye.

With that opportunity though comes the pressure of the requirement to do as much.

The 1-5 Atlanta Falcons and the 0-6 Cincinnati Bengals. Both are, obviously then, among the group of five teams the Rams have remaining with two or less wins. Both are, accordingly, games the Rams need to win. And games they need to win convincingly on the back of their offense.

The Falcons’ defense ranks 29th per Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Their pass defense ranks 31st. The Bengals’ defense? 31st. Their pass defense? 30th.

The Rams cannot put up mediocre showings the next two weeks. There’s literally no excuse. Not when the Falcons are making quarterbacks their best selves every week. Not when your owner looks like this watching his product:

These are, to be frank, bad teams playing bad football in bad form.

The Rams simply have to take advantage of this situation the next two weeks. Yes, they’re in an injury crisis. Yes, that motivated yesterday’s frenzied activity especially at cornerback with CB Aqib Talib on injured reserve. Yes, the offensive line is coming off of their worst performance of the year and have lost LG Joseph Noteboom for the year. Yes, none of that matters.

The Rams are a team that has sacrificed and, as of yesterday, continues to sacrifice their most advantageous path to long-term roster improvement. They’re still buying into the now. And the now now is two games against two struggling teams with porous defenses.